ABC 33/40 Weather Blog

Syndicate content
The latest information on Alabama weather, tornadoes, hurricanes, winter storms, national weather headlines and the science of meteorology in general.
Updated: 12 min 11 sec ago

Tough Temperature Forecast

Sun, 04/06/2014 - 12:45

There’s lots of interest in the severe weather potential, but the temperature forecast for today is also a tough one. Clouds are holding tough across all of Alabama and even the northwest counties have become overcast after a sunny morning.

Temperatures at 12:30 pm were running in the 50s across Central Alabama, in fact all the way down to the Gulf Coast readings were at 60 degrees or below. Without much sun today, we are not likely to climb very much at all. The temperature profile on the morning sounding at the Shelby County Airport was nearly isothermal all the way up to 850 millibars or about 5,000 feet. So there is no significant warming likely to occur with any warmer air aloft mixing down to the ground.

So this is one of those days in which the temperature will probably rise very slowly throughout the day with the actual high for the day coming later tonight and not around mid-afternoon as we typically see. As the surface low develops and moves northeastward, we are likely to get into the warm sector where the greatest risk of severe weather is likely to occur. All modes of severe weather will be possible with the greatest threat coming from damaging wind. There still is a big concern for the possibility of a few tornadoes to occur early Monday.

Timing is a little uncertain. The latest GFS model run takes the surface low from Southwest Louisiana at 03Z to near Tupelo by 09Z and to near Paducah by 15Z. This track would definitely bring Central Alabama into the warm sector with temperatures Monday morning before noon quite possibly rising into the lower 70s along with substantial increase in low level moisture with dew points into the lower 60s. With abundant shear expected, rotating storms will be possible especially from about 3 am through noon.

The front should be making its way through Central Alabama from west to east during the early afternoon hours from about 1 pm to 3 pm bringing an end to the severe weather threat.

-Brian-

Categories: Weather

A Few Notes Before Noon

Sun, 04/06/2014 - 11:41

A severe thunderstorm watch has been issued for parts of eastern Texas and Louisiana. Storms are widespread in that region ahead of an upper level warm front is pushing into South Texas and southern Louisiana.

The 850 mb front extends all the way across Mississippi and into Alabama. Rain and storms were pushing north ahead of the front over much of Pickens, Sumter, Greene, Hale, Bibb, southern Tuscaloosa and southern Bibb Counties southeastward across Montgomery to near Union Springs. This activity will continue to push north and northeast this afternoon overspread much of the area.

You can see from the lower left panel that instabilities are still limited to GUlf Coastal areas. This will change as we get into the afternoon and for us here in Alabama, into the overnight hours.

Temperatures are still in the 50s across Central Alabama. Since the rain has not arrived yet over parts of North Central ALabama, temperatures may manage to get into the lower and middle 60s in those areas.

The SPC maintains a slight risk of severe weather, their standard severe weather outlook, for today and tonight over much of eastern Texas, much of Louisiana, a good bit of Mississippi and Alabama.

In Alabama, storms tonight will become severe with the potential to produce damaging winds and even some tornadoes. The best chance of tornadoes is south of a line from Demoplis to Pine Apple to east of Evergreen, but we can’t rule one out anywhere in the slight risk area. The slight risk area runs generally south and west of a line from Phil Campbell to Springville/Pell City to Tuskegee to Ozark.

Pay attention to forecasts, watches and warnings tonight and Monday morning. Review your severe weather safety plans and be ready to act if warnings are issued for your location.

Categories: Weather

Slight Risk Area Expanded Slightly

Sun, 04/06/2014 - 10:05

On the 7:30 a.m. CDT update to the Day One Severe Weather Outlook, the SPC slightly expanded the Slight Risk area, moving it north of Birmingham. Here is a sneak peek at the latest severe weather info for this afternoon’s forecast package.

TIS THE SEASON: Alabama is a climatologically favored place for severe weather the first week of April. On this map from the SPC, you can see where significant tornadoes are most likely across the nation during the first week of April.

There is a bulls eye over North Alabama the first week of April where the probabilities are highest for having a significant tornado (EF2 or greater). This peak period actually blooms over North Alabama around March the 11th and expands until April 22nd, when it begins to shrink and consolidate with a similar maximum over Oklahoma and northern Texas. The Sooner State becomes the sweepstakes winter in the significant tornado department. The maximum sets up over Oklahoma and North Texas by April 15th. It peaks at about a probability of over 0.35% and expands, but gradually lessens and shifts north toward Iowa and Nebraska by the middle of June.

FORTUNATELY even though this is prime season for significant tornadoes in our area, the probability that one will occur within 25 miles of any place in the maximum area is only 0.25%. Not 25%, but 0.25 percent, so well less than 1%.

UNFORTUNATELY: Today is one of those days when there may well be a few significant tornadoes across the state. The best chance of a significant tornado is over southwestern parts of the area, south and west of a line from Cuba to Pine Hill to Atmore, except for southern Mobile and Baldwin Counties. But there is a decent chance (5%) that there will be a tornado within 25 miles of you if you live north of the significant risk area, but south of the official Slight risk issued by the SPC. The northern boundary of the 5% tornado probability and slight risk area extends from near Hamilton to Carbon Hill to Hoover to Tuskegee. We will have to watch out for damaging winds as well, especially late tonight as the threat transitions from discrete supercells to a squall line.

SECRET WEAPON: You say it doesn’t feel like severe weather out there today. But the secret weapon of severe weather outbreaks will be brandished by our system tonight: the low level jet. As a strong upper level trough progresses eastward, surface low pressure near the Texas coast will move northeast and intensify this afternoon and evening. By 10 p.m., it will be near Vicksburg. As the low strengthens, an area of strong winds at about 5,000 feet will develop over Louisiana. This low level jet as it is known, will do two things. It will transport lots of warm, moist air northeastward rapidly and the fast moving air will cause significant wind shear in the lower layers of the atmosphere. Neither of these pieces of news are ever good in a severe weather situation.

PARAMETER PARTY: Let’s peg the geek meter for some severe weather parameters off the morning run of the 4 km NAM. As noted in the previous paragraph, low level wind shear will not be a problem. The low level jet will produce 0-1 km helicities on the order of at least 250 m2/s2, and they will most likely be higher. Bulk shear values, which is a measure of the difference in wind speed with altitude will be high as well, meaning storms won’t have any trouble staying organized. The question will be whether there is sufficient instability. The models might actually be downplaying the eventually CAPE values over Alabama tonight. Currently, the NAM depicts around 500-750 j/kg. That Is sufficient for severe weather in Alabama, especially in light of the shear available. And they could go higher.

DYNAMIC SYSTEM: I am always concerned when I see rapid transformations of the atmosphere like this one. As noted earlier, the morning and early afternoon did not have a typical severe weather feel. The low level jet will take care of that, pushing temperatures from mostly 50s in the rain-cooled air this afternoon to the middle 60s after midnight. And dewpoints will climb from around 50F this afternoon to the lower 60s tonight. That sort of dynamic change is troublesome. So this will be a system we have to watch carefully. The NWS Birmingham noted this morning that similar systems in the past almost always have produced at least one tornado, but that they were usually weak. At the same time, they noted that the prospects of underestimated instability might make for a more serious situation.

While we can’t rule out a tornado anywhere across Central Alabama overnight and early Monday morning, the best chance will be south and west of a line from Haleyville to Springville/Pell City on to Tuskegee, Ozark and Seaside. This area, which is also the slight risk area for the day, was expanded slightly on the 8:00 a.m. update from the SPC. There is an enhanced area of slightly higher tornado probabilities (10% chance with in 25 miles) over southwestern parts of Alabama, south and west of a line from Livingston to Camden, Pine Apple and then east of Evergreen. It does NOW include coastal Mobile and Baldwin Counties.

HOW THE SYSTEM WILL UNFOLD: Moderate to heavy rain with embedded thunderstorms moved over South and South Central Alabama this morning. More light to moderate rain was moving northeast by mid-morning and will affect the rest of Central Alabama into the afternoon, increasing with time. Most of the thunder should be limited to South Alabama, although some lightning was showing up southwest of Demopolis at 9:30 a.m. There will be some more thunder through the afternoon.

As the surface low moves into Central Mississippi this evening, a warm front will be pushed north over Central Alabama. This will be accompanied by increasing rain and storms. While those shouldn’t be severe, they will be loud. Locations south of the front will be in the warm sector with rising temperatures and dewpoints and increasing instability leading to strong to severe thunderstorms. Discrete storms ahead of the front will be especially troublesome given the magnitude of the wind shear. Rain and thunderstorms will continue for much of the night across much of the area. The main activity should push east of I-65 by lunchtime, continuing to affect East Central and Southeast Alabama with a severe weather threat. There will be some lingering showers into the afternoon over western sections into the afternoon and eastern sections into the evening.

FLASH FLOOD THREAT: A Flash Flood WAach went into effect at 10 a.m. CDT for all of Central Alabama. It will be in effect until Monday afternoon. Widespread 1 to 2 inch rainfall amounts with some locally higher amounts between 3-4 inches could cause flooding.

TEMPERATURES: Readings have been slow to climb over Central sections due to the clouds and increasing showers. Areas that get rain earlier may hae their highs limited to the upper 50s today, while you will find 60s the further north you go. Lows tonight will actually come early in the evening in many spots as the warmer air moves in. Official lows will probably be in the upper 50s, but by morning, readings will be in the middle 60s. Highs tomorrow will likely rise to near 70F, before tumbling back into the lower and middle 40s Monday night.

Categories: Weather

Rain Moved In – Storms Early Monday

Sun, 04/06/2014 - 08:07

An all new edition of the ABC 33/40 Weather Xtreme video is available in the player on the right sidebar of the blog. You can subscribe to the Weather Xtreme video on iTunes by clicking here.

After a very nice Saturday with clouds increasing during the evening hours, rain moved into Central Alabama during the early morning hours with radar showing much of Central Alabama covered by a large rain shield. Rainfall has been mostly light along a line from Aliceville to Calera to Talladega. Further south, rainfall was heavier and thunderstorms were occurring across South Alabama. Montgomery had already picked up nearly an inch of rain this morning so far. The surface map showed a warm front situated along the Gulf Coast with overrunning rain across a large swath of the Southeast US. Flash flood watches were in effect for today and tonight in a large area encompassing extreme East Texas, much of Louisiana, Mississippi, and Alabama, North Georgia and western sections of the Florida Panhandle.

A series of weak impulses were coming out of a deep trough over the Big Bend Country of Texas. The upper air pattern for the next couple of days will be complicated with the trough coming out of Texas in two chunks. The first strong wave will come out tonight and Monday and will generate a surface low in the vicinity of Southeast Texas that will deepen and move northeastward into southern Indiana by midday on Monday. The surface low along with strong low level wind will push warm and very moist air into the Central Gulf Coast area which will be the focus for potentially severe storms tonight and through sunrise on Monday. All modes of severe weather will be possible, but the biggest threat will be in the form of damaging wind as well as heavy rain. Rainfall amounts of 2 to 4 inches over the next 48 hours will fall on ground that is already pretty soaked which means we may well see flash flooding as well as extended river and stream flooding. Hence the flash flood watch in effect through early Monday afternoon. Precipitable water values for Central Alabama will rise into the 1.5 to 2 inch range over the next 36 hours or so.

The key for the development of severe weather will be how far the warm sector can push northward. Dew points across Central Alabama this morning were in the 40s but along the immediate Gulf Coast they were in the middle 60s and some oil rigs just offshore were reporting values in the lower 70s. The combination of the surface low moving across northern Mississippi and the deep trough coming out of Texas should push this warm front northward into Central Alabama by Monday before noon. This has prompted the standard slight risk outlook for a large portion of Mississippi and Alabama as well as southern Louisiana and Southeast Texas. Low level wind at 925 millibars will be screaming out of the south, so it will not take much to bring that strong wind to the surface. There is sufficient instability for thunderstorms and the shear values are respectable, so tornadoes will be possible.

The upper trough will hang back as a secondary trough comes down the western side of the primary trough. This means that we won’t see a rapid clearing after the severe weather threat ends Monday. Instead, we’re going to stay cloudy with rain and showers likely as the second impulse comes across the area late Monday and Tuesday. We should finally see the clouds depart with drier air invading the area on Wednesday.

The air will be drier and much colder, too. Wednesday and Thursday morning I would not be surprised to see a frost threat once again with the potential for low temperatures to dip into the middle and upper 30s. I do not expect to see widespread temperatures at or below freezing, but frost will be a real possibility especially along and north of the Interstate 20 corridor.

Fortunately the weather pattern settles down for us after the rain comes to an end by late Tuesday or early Wednesday morning. A ridge pattern will take over and keep the bulk of the traveling weather systems well to our north. Temperatures will moderate nicely with highs climbing back into the 70s for the end of the week and into the weekend. Morning lows in the 40s Wednesday should rise into the 50s for the end of the week.

But the next system is already showing up with another substantial trough approaching us on Sunday. We’ll probably stay dry for much of Sunday but another round of wet weather and potentially severe storms will come around the 14th and 15th with yet another deep trough coming across the Lower Mississippi River Valley. As that trough exits, we’ll see a ridge pump up across the eastern US bringing another round of fairly warm weather before another – yup, you guessed it – trough comes out of the Rockies around the 20th of April. Surely a fairly typical pattern since we are in the heart of the Spring season.

And you can follow news and weather updates from ABC 33/40 on Twitter here. Stay in the know by following the whole gang – here’s the list…

James Spann Charles Daniel Ashley Brand J. B. Elliott Bill Murray Brian Peters E-Warn (AL wx watches/warnings)

Stay with the Blog for frequent updates on the developing weather situation. Since this could be another early morning round of strong to severe storms, be sure to have a way to get weather warnings while you are sleeping. The key to surviving severe weather is being prepared. James Spann will be back with the next edition of the Weather Xtreme Video on Monday morning. Be sure to catch Ashley Brand on ABC 3340 News at 5 and 10 pm this evening for the latest forecast on what is expected. Godspeed.

-Brian-

Categories: Weather

Late Night Look at the Severe Weather Threat for Alabama

Sun, 04/06/2014 - 03:00

There is a threat of severe weather this afternoon over South Alabama, spreading northward into West Central Alabama south of US-82 this evening and over areas south of US-78 and west of I-65 during the overnight. The SPC has the southwestern quarter of Alabama in a “slight” risk for severe weather, their standard severe weather forecast.

Thunderstorms will intensify through the day along the Gulf Coast across southern Louisiana, southern Mississippi and southwestern Alabama. Damaging winds and tornadoes will become a problem this afternoon over this region, including New Orleans, Lafayette, Hattiesburg, Meridian, Mobile and Jackson, Alabama. The SPC has a 10% tornado probability (chance of one within 25 miles of a point) in this area, including a hatched area, which indicates a likelihood of significant (EF2 or greater tornadoes.) Here are the tornado probabilities. The slight risk outlook corresponds to the 5% tornado threat area.

Click to enlarge

The threat of damaging winds and tornadoes will lift northward with the warmth, moisture and instability Sunday evening, overspreading West and Central Alabama. Accordingly, the SPC has their standard basic severe weather risk in place for this afternoon and tonight south and west of a line from Hamilton to Jasper to Hoover to Rockford to Tuskegee to Ozark and back to Destin.

CAPE values will rapidly increase to 500-750 j/kg as far north as US-82 by 1-2 a.m. and this moderate instability will spread up to areas south of US-78 and east of I-65 before sunrise. So it appears there will be the requisite instability. And wind shear will be in good supply as well, with 0-1 km helicity values reaching 200 m2/s2 by evening. This combination could produce tornadoes and damaging winds in the risk area. The greatest threat will be south of a line from Livingston to Camden to Atmore and back around to Mobile.

WATCH THE WARM FRONT: Wind shear will be enhanced along the northward moving warm front during the late afternoon and evening hours. We will have to watch storms along this boundary for the threat of tornadoes as well.

SEVERE WEATHER THREAT SHIFTS EASTWARD: Monday morning, the threat of severe weather will shift eastward over southeastern and East Central Alabama ahead of the cold front that will move eastward. The bulk of the rainfall should be east of I-65 by late morning with just a few lingering showers into the afternoon.

DON’T FORGET: There is a flash flood watch that will go into effect at 10 a.m. this morning for all of Central Alabama.

Categories: Weather

Flash Flood Watch Issued for Central Alabama

Sat, 04/05/2014 - 20:49

The NWS in Birmingham has issued a flash flood watch that will go into effect at 10 a.m. Sunday morning for much of Central Alabama.

The watch includes:

Autauga, Barbour, Bibb, Blount, Bullock, Calhoun, Chambers, Cherokee, Chilton, Clay, Cleburne, Coosa, Dallas, Elmore, Etowah, Fayette, Greene, Hale, Jefferson, Lamar, Lee, Lowndes, Macon, Marengo, Marion, Montgomery, Perry, Pickens, Pike, Randolph, Russell, Shelby, St. Clair, Sumter, Talladega, Tallapoosa, Tuscaloosa, Walker and Winston Counties. It will go until 1 p.m. CDT Monday.

Widespread 2-3 inch rainfall amounts are expected between late tonight and early Wednesday, with some isolated heavier amounts. The bulk of the rainfall will occur between noon Sunday and noon Monday.

Categories: Weather

Rainy and Stormy Times Ahead

Sat, 04/05/2014 - 17:21

We have escaped most of today without any issues from the weather. It has been a fairly nice day across much of Alabama as we saw a mix of sun and clouds. Now as we head towards the second half to the weekend, the weather is about to take a turn for the worse. A quick look at the regional radar shows most locations remain dry this evening. However, our eyes are drawn to the south to the the Gulf of Mexico. We are beginning to see widespread convection head north towards the Gulf Coast. There are a few isolated severe storms within this convection. During the overnight hours, this convection will continue to expand in coverage and will be heading north towards Central Alabama.

For Sunday, we are looking a for a very active day of weather, especially Sunday night and into Monday. Severe weather will be a threat, as damaging winds and tornadoes will be possible for many areas in the state. On top of the severe weather threat, we will see a threat from flash flooding. The National Weather Service Offices in Lake Charles, Slidell, Mobile, and Jackson have all issued flash flood watches for their coverage areas (highlighted in green). The flash flood watches go into effect tomorrow morning. At some point tonight or tomorrow, we expect the NWS in Birmingham to follow suit.

Heavy rain will occur over the state, with many locations across Central Alabama will likely receive 2-3 inches of rain, with some areas receiving more, possibly closer to 4 inches. Plan ahead for the severe weather and flooding threat that will impact Central Alabama Sunday night and Monday morning.

Categories: Weather

Sunday’s Severe Weather Threat

Sat, 04/05/2014 - 13:25

The latest day two convective outlook from the SPC continues to highlight areas of the Northern Gulf Coast in a slight risk for severe weather on Sunday. The risk is valid from 7AM Sunday to 7AM Monday and covers areas of southern Louisiana, southern Mississippi, southwestern Alabama, and portions of the Florida Panhandle. Areas in and around Lake Charles, Baton Rouge, New Orleans, Jackson, Mobile, and Pensacola are included. The risk extends north into Central Alabama and approaches the U.S. Highway 82 corridor which extends from Pickens County down to Montgomery. Some of the larger Alabama communities in our area included are Demopolis, Selma, Livingston, and Marion.

As we head into Sunday, low pressure will be developing along the Gulf Coast. It will be lifting north and will draw a warm front north as well. Depending on how far north the front comes, will determine how far north the severe weather threat will make it.

Several upper-level impulses will be moving across the region tomorrow and will produce multiple clusters of thunderstorms that will move east and north across the risk area. As the low moves north, it will be be enhancing the shear across the region. That means there will be a threat for tornadoes where storms do develop within the risk area. We will see these clusters of storms moving into Alabama Sunday and into Sunday night. Finally, a front will move across the risk area and will cause a line of storms to march east. With this line of storms, the main threat will be damaging straight-line winds. This line of storms will likely move into Alabama Monday morning.

Before the main line arrives, moisture will be streaming north into the state, and will allow for a very heavy rainfall event for much of Alabama. Along with the severe weather threat we are growing concerned with the threat of flooding. Much of Central Alabama will likely receive 2-3 inches of rain Sunday into Monday, with some model output suggesting possibly five inches.

Categories: Weather

Tornado Helmet Safety Night with the Birmingham Barons

Sat, 04/05/2014 - 09:44

Do you have a bike helmet or a helmet of any kind around your house? Have you thought about using it during a tornado to protect your head? Since it is spring and with the severe weather we are known to have, it is time to think about tornado safety preparedness. Wearing a helmet allows you to use your hands to hold on to your loved ones instead of protecting your head. We don’t like to think “it” will ever happen to us, but in reality, it can!

As we near the peak of our spring severe weather season, we wanted to draw your attention to an outreach event.

The Birmingham Barons will host Renee Crook’s Tornado Helmet Safety campaign on Tornado Helmet Awareness Night on Friday, April 11th. This will be the third year in a row that the Barons have hosted this event, and it is going to be bigger and better than ever. Midland Radio has donated 200 weather radios for the Barons to distribute at the game. Weather radios can be an invaluable tool to keep you and your family safe during severe weather. Academy Sports + Outdoors is donating the batteries needed for the important back-up power option for the radios that are given away at the game. Representatives from Midland will also be on hand at the Regions Field to help winners program and set up the weather radios so they are ready for immediate use.

Other agencies/businesses that are scheduled to participate in the event include: Jefferson Co EMA, Birmingham Chapter of the American Red Cross, and the Alabama Head Injury Foundation as well as other local, state, and federal agencies will be there giving out information. A demonstration storm shelter will also be on site. Come out and get life-saving information on being prepared for the severe weather season!

A brief on-field pregame presentation will include remarks from tornado survivor Matt Seals, a brief video presentation, and conclude with the ceremonial first pitch by Joshua Heichelbech, brother of Christina Heichelbech who died in the January 23, 2012 Birmingham area tornado. The Heichelbech family is working to raise awareness of the importance of weather alert radios, especially for those living in the Birmingham area. Gates will open at 5:30 PM, gametime is 7:05 PM.

Coordinating the events is Renee Crook, a volunteer who helps spread the message about being prepared for severe weather. To contact Renee Crook or get more information about this initiative, check out the Tornado Helmet Safety Facebook Page.

Categories: Weather

50/50 Weekend

Sat, 04/05/2014 - 08:11

An all new edition of the ABC 33/40 Weather Xtreme video is available in the player on the right sidebar of the blog. You can subscribe to the Weather Xtreme video on iTunes by clicking here.

After a coolish start to the day with some frost reported across Northeast Alabama including our skywatcher at Black Creek, we should see a beautiful Saturday across Central Alabama before wet weather returns on Sunday. The humidity will be down today with dew points running in the 30s and 40s. Clouds will be an issue for southern Alabama, but with plenty of sunshine for Central Alabama we should see afternoon highs climb into the middle 60s. But the good weather is not expected to stick around long, so enjoy the day.

The frontal system that brought the round of thunderstorms yesterday morning will pull back northward in response to a strong short wave trough coming out of Texas which will generate a surface low in the Lower Mississippi River Valley. This low will track northeast across northern Mississippi with the GFS and European models in good agreement on both the track and strength of the surface low. In this scenario, Central Alabama should be in the warm sector as a warm front moves northward tonight and Sunday. Thus, SPC has outlooked an area including Southwest Alabama and much of the Central Gulf Coast for the standard slight risk of severe weather for Day 2, Sunday into early morning Monday. It appears that all modes of severe weather will again be a possibility with the greatest threat coming from damaging wind.

The pattern suggests the warm sector does come all the way northward into North and Central Alabama, however, most of the severe weather parameters appear to be more favorable for severe weather south of Birmingham. GFS and NAM MOS guidance numbers indicate that dew points for Birmingham will only reach the upper 50s. Depending on the strength of the low – again, good model agreement on strength and track – the deeper warmth and moisture could push a little further north putting us more at risk. There’s also the risk of severe weather we see along the warm front itself. So as James notes in the post below, it is certainly a stay tuned situation. See the Blog video for details on the severe weather parameters.

In addition to the severe weather threat, the precipitation in this event could be heavy in places raising the potential for flooding and flash flooding issues. Rainfall totals of 1 to 3 inches could push some of the already swollen rivers upward enough to create some flooding issues. Also with the ground saturated from previous rains, any heavy rain from strong to severe thunderstorms could produce a flash flood threat.

The upper trough comes by Tuesday generally bringing an end to the precipitation with temperatures remaining on the cool side with highs in the 60s Tuesday and Wednesday. The overall pattern becomes more zonal as a ridge builds into the eastern US behind the exiting trough. This should keep our weather dry as temperatures gradually return to the 70s.

Another developing trough to our west promises to bring another storm system into the picture probably Sunday and Monday as we edge into voodoo country. And the active weather pattern shows no signs of letting up with yet another strong trough poised to affect us around April 19th. We shouldn’t be surprised by this since it is the heart of severe weather season, so be sure to tweak your severe weather safety plan and your resources to make sure you are prepared to receive weather updates and warnings.

And you can follow news and weather updates from ABC 33/40 on Twitter here. Stay in the know by following the whole gang – here’s the list…

James Spann Charles Daniel Ashley Brand J. B. Elliott Bill Murray Brian Peters E-Warn (AL wx watches/warnings)

I had a great time at the Birmingham Storytelling Festival at the Virginia Samford Theater last night. The festival continues today at 1 and 7 pm with some great music and fantastic storytelling with tellers like Bobby Norfolk and Andy Offutt Irwin. Special thanks to Norton Dill of the Dill Pickers along with many other folks for putting together what we all hope will become an annual festival for Birmingham. The next Weather Xtreme Video should be posted by 8 am or so on Sunday morning. Enjoy your day and Godspeed.

-Brian-

Categories: Weather

Strong Storms Tomorrow Night

Sat, 04/05/2014 - 06:35

Brian will be along shortly with the full discussion and a new Weather Xtreme video… this is just a quick look at the severe weather/heavy rain potential for Alabama late tomorrow night into Monday morning. You won’t have any weather issues today; we expect ample sunshine with a high in the 60s.

SPC maintains the “slight risk” of severe weather for mostly South Alabama in their “Day Three” convective outlook, which runs from 7 a.m. tomorrow through 7 a.m. Monday.

A very dynamic weather system will develop with strong wind fields, upward motion, and wind shear. The biggest questions involves instability; this will be the limiting factor, and is the reason SPC has only the southern part of Alabama outlooked for now. Seems like the highest risk of severe weather will come from about 10:00 tomorrow night through 10:00 Monday morning, mainly south of a line from Tuscaloosa to Montgomery to Troy to Geneva.

Storms in this part of Alabama will be capable of producing strong, possibly damaging winds and a few tornadoes. And, with the risk coming during the overnight hours, people will need to be sure they have a way of hearing severe weather warnings, such as a NOAA Weather Radio, or good smart phone app like MyWarn or iMap WeatherRadio. Properly programmed, of course.

HEAVY RAIN THREAT: Rain amounts of 2-3 inches are likely tomorrow and Monday…

This could lead to some flooding issues, especially where storms back build and move over the same area. We will keep you posted on the threat over the weekend. Stay tuned…

Categories: Weather

Dry Tomorrow; More Rain By Sunday

Fri, 04/04/2014 - 15:44

**No afternoon Weather Xtreme video today**

CLEARING TONIGHT: The lingering rain over Alabama will end very soon, and the sky will clear this evening as the upper trough axis moves to the east of the state.

Tomorrow promises to be a cool, dry day with a good supply of sunshine and a high in the mid 60s. It will be the time to get outdoors, because clouds and rain will come back quickly later in the weekend.

SUNDAY: The sky becomes cloudy tomorrow night, and it now looks like rain will begin Sunday morning. A long duration, soaking rain event is ahead through Monday morning.

SEVERE WEATHER: SPC has identified a “slight risk” of severe weather over the southern half of Alabama for Sunday night and very early monday morning…

SEVERE STORMS LATE SUNDAY NIGHT? Below is the NAM output, valid at 4am CT Monday…

The placement and intensity of the surface low will be one of the main determining factors for the severe weather threat. Dynamics look strong, but thermodynamics are marginal. Not sure surface based instability can move up into North Alabama, which is the main reason SPC has tagged only the southern counties of the state for a severe weather risk. But, understand sometimes models underestimate instability a few days in advance, and we will need to watch forecast CAPE values closely for North Alabama as well.

For South Alabama, all modes of severe weather will be possible late Sunday night and early Monday morning, including tornadoes. The main window for severe weather will come from about 10:00 p.m. Sunday through 10:00 a.m. Monday.

The rain will be heavy at times statewide Sunday night into Monday morning… rain amounts of 2 to 3 inches are likely, and some flooding issues are possible.

TUESDAY: This will be a mostly cloudy and cool day with some scattered light rain possible as the upper trough swings through.

LATE SEASON FROST: Still concerned we will see some frost early Wednesday or Thursday morning, with lows down in the mid 30s. We will be able to much more specific about this threat to growers over the weekend. Keep an eye on forecast temperatures.

WEATHER BRAINS: Don’t forget you can listen to our weekly 90 minute netcast anytime on the web, or on iTunes. This is the show all about weather featuring many familiar voices, including our meteorologists here at ABC 33/40.

CONNECT: You can find me on all of the major social networks…

Facebook
Twitter
Google Plus
Instagram

I had a great time today visiting with the 3rd graders at Erwin Intermediate School in Center Point… be looking for them on the Pepsi KIDCAM today at 5:00 on ABC 33/40 News! My next Weather Xtreme video will be posted bright and early Monday morning by 7:00 a.m… Brian Peters will have the video updates tomorrow and Sunday. Enjoy the weekend!

Categories: Weather

Mid-Morning Update

Fri, 04/04/2014 - 08:43

Showers and storms continue across much of Central Alabama this morning. The main line of storms continues to push off to the south and east today. Though the severe weather threat is over for most of Central Alabama, the SPC still has parts of the area outlined in their standard slight risk for severe weather. Locations in our southwestern counties are included in this risk.

This risk area actually extends as far north as the U.S Highway 80 corridor in northern Marengo and Dallas Counties. It then drops off to the southeast where it clips Pike County and then head towards the Gulf Coast. Until the line of storms that is dropping south passes these locations, there remains a threat for severe weather. As we head through the day, the risk area will continued to get trimmed back.

For the areas still in the risk, the main concern will continue to be the threat for damaging winds. For locations across Central Alabama, where the severe weather threat is over, expect a few more hours of rains before some drier begins to move in with a front that is approaching the area from the west.

Categories: Weather

Tornado Watch Has Been Cancelled

Fri, 04/04/2014 - 07:09

THE NATIONAL WEATHER SERVICE HAS CANCELLED THE TORNADO WATCH FOR
ALABAMA INCLUDING THE FOLLOWING 6 COUNTIES:

BLOUNT JEFFERSON
GREENE HALE SUMTER
TUSCALOOSA

THIS INCLUDES THE CITIES OF…BIRMINGHAM…EUTAW…GREENSBORO…
HOOVER…LIVINGSTON…MOUNDVILLE…ONEONTA…TUSCALOOSA AND YORK.

Showers and storms continue across portions of Alabama this morning, but are below severe limits and the storms continue to weaken at this time. The severe weather threat is over for now.

We will continue to monitor the weather the next few hours and into the afternoon. Expect the rain to last several more hours across Central Alabama.

Categories: Weather

Storms Advancing Through Alabama

Fri, 04/04/2014 - 06:50

An all new edition of the ABC 33/40 Weather Xtreme video is available in the player on the right sidebar of the blog. You can subscribe to the Weather Xtreme video on iTunes by clicking here.

RADAR CHECK: The line of storms is making steady progress through Northwest Alabama early this morning, and as expected the storms are showing a slow weakening trend. Winds did gust to 50 mph at Hamilton in Marion County as the storms moved through, and there were reports of a few trees down in Lamar County. But, generally speaking, winds have been in the 30-40 mph range with few damage reports.

The storms will end from west to east this afternoon, and cooler and drier air blows into Alabama tonight.

SUNNY SATURDAY: We will enjoy a one day break from the rain tomorrow… expect a good supply of sunshine with a high in the mid 60s. Clouds return quickly tomorrow night, however.

MORE RAIN: Rain moves back into Alabama Sunday; it will spread northward during the day, and by Sunday afternoon rain is likely statewide as a surface low forms on the Louisiana coast.

This low will move to a point between Memphis and Nashville by Monday morning, and with very good dynamic support it will bring the risk of severe weather to parts of our state Sunday night into early Monday morning.

The primary limiting factor in severe weather with this event will be the lack of instability; the better chance of seeing decent surface based instability will be over the southern half of Alabama, and this is where SPC has defined the standard “slight risk” of severe weather…

Projected bulk shear values are very high, and the low level jet will be screaming overnight Sunday night into early Monday, so where we do see surface based instability, all modes of severe weather will be possible, including tornadoes.

For now it looks like the primary severe weather risk will come along and south of a line from Tuscaloosa to Montgomery to Dothan, and generally between 10:00 p.m. Sunday and 10:00 a.m. Monday. We will be able to better specific the risk later today and tomorrow.

We should also note that some flooding issues are possible; rain totals of 2 to 3 inches are expected before the rain moves out during the midday hours Monday.

REST OF NEXT WEEK: A deep upper trough will move over Alabama Tuesday; the day will be mostly cloudy and cool with potential for some light rain. Then, the rest of the week will be cool and dry.

Still some concern for a late season frost… mainly Thursday morning… over North and Central Alabama. Growers will need to closely monitor temperature forecasts; see the Weather Xtreme video for the maps, graphics, and more details.

WEATHER BRAINS: Don’t forget you can listen to our weekly 90 minute netcast anytime on the web, or on iTunes. This is the show all about weather featuring many familiar voices, including our meteorologists here at ABC 33/40.

CONNECT: You can find me on all of the major social networks…

Facebook
Twitter
Google Plus
Instagram

Busy day ahead… I am speaking at the Building Owner’s and Manager’s Association regional meeting in Birmingham this morning, and then I have a weather program at Erwin Intermediate School in Center Point. Tonight I will be speaking in Midfield at the dedication of their new community tornado shelter. Look for the next Weather Xtreme video here by 4:00 or so this afternoon… enjoy the day!

Categories: Weather

Pickens and Walker Counties Cleared from Tornado Watch

Fri, 04/04/2014 - 06:40

THE NATIONAL WEATHER SERVICE HAS CANCELLED THE TORNADO WATCH FOR
THE FOLLOWING 2 COUNTIES

WALKER
PICKENS

THIS INCLUDES THE CITIES OF…ALICEVILLE…CARROLLTON AND JASPER.

TORNADO WATCH REMAINS VALID UNTIL 10 AM CDT THIS MORNING FOR
THE FOLLOWING AREAS 6 COUNTIES

BLOUNT JEFFERSON
GREENE HALE SUMTER
TUSCALOOSA

THIS INCLUDES THE CITIES OF…BIRMINGHAM…EUTAW…GREENSBORO…
HOOVER…LIVINGSTON…MOUNDVILLE…ONEONTA…TUSCALOOSA AND YORK.

Categories: Weather

2 Counties Cleared from Watch

Fri, 04/04/2014 - 06:08

The NWS has canceled the tornado watch for Winston and Fayette Counties, but the watch continues for 8 other counties in Central Alabama.

The line of strong storms this morning continues from just west of Guntersville to west of Oneonta to just west of Birmingham to just east of Tuscaloosa.

Be ready for wind gusts to 50 mph and occasionally higher, like at Cullman where winds gusted to 64 mph at our Skycam just before 6 a.m. This can knock down trees.

Trees were blown down 3 miles south of Winfield on highway 49 at 5 a.m. this morning.

THE NATIONAL WEATHER SERVICE HAS CANCELLED TORNADO WATCH 59 FOR
THE FOLLOWING AREAS

IN ALABAMA THIS CANCELS 2 COUNTIES

IN NORTHWEST ALABAMA

WINSTON

IN WEST CENTRAL ALABAMA

FAYETTE

THIS INCLUDES THE CITIES OF…FAYETTE AND HALEYVILLE.

TORNADO WATCH 59 REMAINS VALID UNTIL 10 AM CDT THIS MORNING FOR
THE FOLLOWING AREAS

IN ALABAMA THIS WATCH INCLUDES 8 COUNTIES

IN CENTRAL ALABAMA

BLOUNT JEFFERSON WALKER

IN WEST CENTRAL ALABAMA

GREENE HALE PICKENS
SUMTER TUSCALOOSA

THIS INCLUDES THE CITIES OF…ALICEVILLE…BIRMINGHAM…
CARROLLTON…EUTAW…GREENSBORO…HOOVER…JASPER…LIVINGSTON…
MOUNDVILLE…ONEONTA…TUSCALOOSA AND YORK.

Categories: Weather

Severe Thunderstorm Warning Cullman County until 6:30 AM

Fri, 04/04/2014 - 06:05

This warning is for the eastern part of the county and is for locations east of Interstate 65 and U.S. 31. Damaging straight-line winds are the main concern with this storm.

It will be impacting locations around Holly Pond, Baileyton, Fairview, and Hanceville.

THE NATIONAL WEATHER SERVICE IN HUNTSVILLE HAS ISSUED A

* SEVERE THUNDERSTORM WARNING FOR…
SOUTH CENTRAL MARSHALL COUNTY IN NORTHEAST ALABAMA…
NORTHEASTERN CULLMAN COUNTY IN NORTH CENTRAL ALABAMA…

* UNTIL 630 AM CDT

* AT 604 AM CDT…DOPPLER RADAR INDICATED A SEVERE THUNDERSTORM
CAPABLE OF PRODUCING DAMAGING WINDS IN EXCESS OF 60 MPH. THIS STORM
WAS LOCATED NEAR HOLLY POND…OR 9 MILES EAST OF CULLMAN…AND
MOVING EAST AT 40 MPH.

* LOCATIONS IMPACTED INCLUDE…
ALBERTVILLE…HANCEVILLE…HOLLY POND…DOUGLAS…BAILEYTON…
FAIRVIEW…HYATT…HORTON…RABBIT TOWN AND HIGH POINT.

PRECAUTIONARY/PREPAREDNESS ACTIONS…

SEVERE THUNDERSTORMS PRODUCE DAMAGING WINDS…DESTRUCTIVE HAIL…
DEADLY LIGHTNING AND VERY HEAVY RAIN. FOR YOUR PROTECTION…MOVE TO
AN INTERIOR ROOM ON THE LOWEST FLOOR OF YOUR HOME OR BUSINESS. HEAVY
RAINS FLOOD ROADS QUICKLY SO DO NOT DRIVE INTO AREAS WHERE WATER
COVERS THE ROAD.

Categories: Weather

Storms Slowly Weakening

Fri, 04/04/2014 - 05:57

The line of storms continues to slowly weaken this morning. The NWS is issuing significant weather advisories now for the line. Any warnings will be allowed to expire. The storms are currently approaching Tuscaloosa and Birmingham. Expect torrential rainfall, gusty winds, hail, and frequent lightning with these storms as they move through. All the major roads and Interstates in these areas will be impacted by these storms. Please use caution this morning and for the next few hours. The storms will continue to move east across Central Alabama through the morning hours.

If conditions warrant, the NWS will issue warnings, but at this time, due to the slow weakening of the storms, as well as the lack of damage reports the last hour, only the significant weather advisories are needed.

Categories: Weather

Severe Threat Continues, Changes in Tornado Watch Possible

Fri, 04/04/2014 - 05:39

UPDATE: Due to current trends and severe weather parameters, the NWS in Birmingham is NOT planning on extending the tornado watch east at this time.

The latest Mesoscale discussion from the SPC continues to highlight the threat for severe storms for Alabama the next several hours. Damaging straight-line winds continue to be the main threat, but there is enough shear present to possibly allow for a few brief tornadoes to develop. Heavy rain, hail, and frequent lightning are occurring as well.

As the line of storms continues to push east, the tornado watch present over north and west Alabama may need to be extended to the east, this is just a heads up for locations in East Alabama. Once the line of storms passes your location, the severe weather threat is over.

AREAS AFFECTED…PORTIONS OF MIDDLE/ERN TN…NRN/CNTRL AL…CNTRL
MS…NERN LA

CONCERNING…TORNADO WATCH 58…59…

VALID 041028Z – 041200Z

THE SEVERE WEATHER THREAT FOR TORNADO WATCH 58…59…CONTINUES.

SUMMARY…THE SVR RISK CONTINUES ACROSS REMAINING VALID PORTIONS OF
TORNADO WATCHES 58 AND 59.

DISCUSSION…A LARGE LEADING-LINE/TRAILING-STRATIFORM MCS CONTINUES
SPREADING ACROSS PARTS OF THE LOWER MS AND THE TN VALLEY.
STRENGTHENING MID-LEVEL SWLYS ARE FOCUSING THE STRONGEST FORWARD
PROPAGATIONAL COMPONENT OF THIS SYSTEM AND DMGG WIND/TORNADO
POTENTIAL INTO PARTS OF MIDDLE TN…WHERE WW 59 HAS BEEN EXPANDED
NWD. FARTHER S ACROSS AL INTO CNTRL MS AND NERN LA…INSTANCES OF
DMGG WIND GUSTS MAY BE MORE SPORADIC AS THE CONVECTIVE LINE IS
ASSUMING A MORE PARALLEL ORIENTATION TO THE FLOW ALOFT.
HOWEVER…40-50 KT OF 1 KM AGL FLOW PER DGX/BMX VWP DATA WILL
SUPPORT SOME POTENTIAL FOR DMGG WIND GUSTS WITH EMBEDDED BOWING
SEGMENTS. THIS POTENTIAL MAY SPREAD E OF WW 59 IN AL…PERHAPS
WARRANTING AN EWD EXTENSION OF THE TORNADO WATCH. THE SVR RISK WILL
BE NIL BEHIND THE CONVECTIVE LINE.

Categories: Weather